I come across a lot of mothers that are frustrated to the core, because their little one cannot breastfeed properly. When frustrated mothers come across a new diagnosis that might potentially be the reason that their breastfeeding is not working, it is easy to be carried away into believing that this is the reason behind all the issues. And while tongue ties can cause issues with breastfeeding, they are not the only source of this.

Consult an IBCLC

The first place any mother with breastfeeding issues should go, is to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and so should you. There can be many causes for breastfeeding issues, and an IBCLC is able to advise across all of these.

For the IBCLC closest to you, click here.

The most frequent causes for breastfeeding issues other than tongue ties, are:

  • Technique problems, like a poor latch
  • Equipment misuse, like improper use of nipple shield
  • Psychological or other health factors
  • Factors affecting the breasts
  • Anatomical problems in the baby, like a tight oral/neck musculature

The IBCLC will help determine if a tongue tie could indeed be the reason for the breastfeeding issues.

Schedule a session for diagnosis

If the IBCLC suspect that there might be a tongue tie, you should schedule a session with a local practitioner. At this session, the practitioner will examine your baby and, if relevant, diagnose the tongue tie. Tongue ties are a very common condition, it occurs in about 5% of the population, however it is not widely understood. So, if your practitioner diagnoses, or refutes, a tongue tie without physically stretching your babies’ tongue, he is not sufficiently knowledgeable about tongue ties, and you should get a second opinion.

Here is a picture of Dr. Ghaheri examining a baby for a tongue tie, this is the proper way of examination.

Et billede, der indeholder person, indendørs, væg

Automatisk genereret beskrivelse

Photo curtesy of Dr. Ghaheri.

The procedure

If your practitioner does diagnose a tongue tie, you need to consider if you want to get it revised or not. It usually depends on the symptoms, and if it is causing enough discomfort to merit the procedure?

For a list of tongue tie symptoms, click here.

If you choose to go through with the procedure, you need to properly prepare. Read everything you can, especially on aftercare, as this is the part that most often cause discomfort for parents post procedure. The procedure itself if very quick and causes almost no discomfort.

For a detailed timeline of the tongue tie process including bodywork and IBCLC, click here.

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